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Title: Charcoal analysis from Çatalhöyük and Pınarbaşı, two Neolithic sites in the Konya Plain, South-Central Anatolia, Turkey
Author: Asouti, Eleni
ISNI:       0000 0001 3430 9813
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis presents the results of charcoal analysis from the Neolithic sites of Çatalhöyük and Pınarbaşı in South-Central Anatolia, Turkey. The treatment of the subject centres upon two major issues: I. An improvement of the currently available methodological and analytical tools in the field of charcoal analysis, in order to evaluate in an objective way the taphonomic status of wood charcoal macro-remains and thus allow formulating viable working hypotheses on firewood selection and consumption. For this purpose, the current state of affairs in charcoal analysis is re-assessed, aiming at clarifying the major methodological and interpretive debates within the discipline. Furthermore, the available evidence on wood charcoal taphonomy alongside firewood selection and consumption is critically reviewed. Drawin from this body of theory, some new methodological avenues are proposed and tested on the wood charcoal assemblages derived from Çatalhöyük and Pınarbaşı. It is argued that through such a holistic assessment of wood charcoal taphonomy, concentrating mainly in clarifying the impact of source and context on taxon representation,m crucial information can be obtanied concerning the dominant patterns of fuel use and exploitation. The results of this process are finally evaluated against other, independent lines of evidence (i.e. excavation records, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, pollen analysis, etc.) II. An innovative appreoach to vegetation reconstruction in the context of Near Eastern archaeobotany and palaeoecology grounded on the analysis of woodland habitats in terms of their seasonal and temporal transformations, and their potential responses to natural and/or anthropogenic disturbance. The main purpose is to identify long-term patterns of interaction between human strategies of woodland exploitation and past vegetation. It is argued furthermore that the dominant perceptions of the availability of landscape resources, shaped by the full compendium of economic strategies practised at the settlement level, are the major determinant in what concerns both the modes and the intensity of woodland exploitation. Finally, the charcoal data are evaluated against the available evidence for the evolution of settlement patterns and subsistence strategies in South-Central Anatolia during the early Holocene. The aim is to ecamine whether they may conform to a general trajectory of temporal changes that can be regionally traced concerning the perception and exploitation of landscape resources.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Archaeology